Summer Talks – Nicolas Winding Refn, ‘Only God Forgives’

Published on Aug 18 2013 // Filmmaking

In an extensive interview Cannes award-winning Director Nicolas Winding Refn talks to the Film Society Lincoln Center after a screening of his latest, controversial movie ‘Only God Forgives’. There are a few SPOILERS, so if you’ve not seen the movie and don’t wanna know anything about it beforehand, you might wanna move on to the next article.


Still here, you’ve been warned.

Nicolas Winding Refn is a Danish film Director, Screenwriter and Producer, who made a name for himself with his filming style and excessive use of Sex and Violence to tell his stories in a very brooding environment. Even in his early days starting with the Awesome ‘Pusher Trilogy’, he showed a very unique storytelling style which only got better with the extraordinary ‘Bronson’ starring the unstoppable force that is Tom Hardy (Bane from the ‘Dark Knight Series’), followed by the ultra-violent ‘Valhalla Rising’ with Mads Mikkelsen (Bond Villain – ‘Casino Royale’) and culminating in the masterpiece ‘Drive’ with Ryan Gosling (he of ‘The Notebook’ fame).


Just like his earlier ventures, ‘Only God Forgives’ also divided audiences and critics worldwide, alike. While some loved it, others hated it so much. In this exclusive hour long interview with the host, he talks about how he came up with the idea for the film – ‘A Western in Asia’. He then goes thru the process of how the concept developed, the mother-son relation, the explicit language, the look of the characters. He also delves into interesting stories while casting the actors, how he works with the actors as a director, how he uses silence in telling stories and finally the usage of explicit violence in his movies. In the end, answering audience questions he advices the students in attendance on the lists things to say while pitching for finance, how to deal with actors on set, why he shoots chronologically, how he picks his music and many more. So, sit back and enjoy this Awesome insight into the working style of one of the most controversial Directors working today in mainstream Hollywood:

There are two clips from the movie, shown during the interview and here they are:

First Clip – Dinner Scene

Second Clip – Execution

Author - Abhijit Roy, India

Source – Film Society Lincoln Center (

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